Thinking about taking my daughter to Girl Scouts tonight has me thinking about being prepared. Or maybe that is the Boy Scouts motto? I digress…..
If I’ve learned two things working with credit and debit cards it is to be prepared, have a back-up plan and review your accounts regularly. I’ve learned these through a combination of personal and professional experiences.
Being prepared is easier said than done. It is really the art of getting ready for something and thinking about it beforehand. One of my co-workers does a great job of this. Before international travel she will make copies of key documents and have someone else store them for her. Another colleague makes sure that all pertinent phone numbers for credit cards are stored in various locations if you need to cancel things quickly.
This technique of copying items would have come in handy years ago when my husband and I took a trip to Mexico. We left our available cash, credit cards and ID on the airplane when we first arrived. So here we were in the hotel our first day in paradise trying to find phone numbers to cancel things. Once that fire was over we were able to make several trips downtown to get passport photos taken and new ID issued.
A back up plan is something we think about now when we travel out of the country. A couple years ago as chip enabled cards became prevalent in Canada we experienced a problem using our card in Vancouver. At the time, I was surprised when the card didn’t work at a particular merchant. I knew there were enough funds. I later found out it was the terminals they were using and my debit card didn’t have a chip in it.
The best back up plan is a secondary source of funds. If you have an alternate source and one fails you aren’t left stranded. If you are like me you sometimes forget to grab that new debit card off the counter and leave the expired one in your wallet. There is always that awkward moment where you pull it out to pay and realize it is expired. It is a relief to know you have a back-up credit card to use. If you are traveling I recommend taking (or get out of an ATM upon arrival) money in the appropriate currency.
The last good habit I’ve gained from working here is to review your statements and activities regularly. I’m didn’t use to review my statements with a fine tooth comb. Now I know what is coming in and out of my accounts on any given day. I love the flexibility that mobile and online banking give me to see transactions. If something comes out of my account I will know about it same day. That means I can call and report it to block my cards and stop anything else from happening.
This decade in the Financial Industry has taught me a lot of valuable best practices!
Hello! I’m Le Ann Langston and I’m the Director of Member Services Northgate for Verity Credit Union. Member Service Manager is another name for the call center manager. Talking on the phone was a hobby of mine as a teenager and now I have made a career of it. If only I had a cool headset when I was 13! In my spare time I enjoy yoga, writing and reading just about anything. I am slightly addicted to TV and am currently hooked on a number of shows. Given this list of indoor pursuits you may find it hard to believe that I enjoy traveling to new places. Most people would never know that at one point I almost moved to London just for a change of pace.